Bbc - history - world wars: british bombing strategy in world war two
Brjtain bombing of Dresden cannot be equalled with the horrors of Auschwitz. Many felt that the Germans deserved to reap the whirlwind they had sown. Yet Bomber Command's policy of targeting residential areas clearly contradicted Chamberlain's pre-war statement in parliament that it was 'against sex buddy acworth law to bomb civilians as such and to make deliberate attacks on the civilian population'.
How could a nation so proud of its high moral standards drop bombs on women and children? The history of the British bombing brihain in World War Two shows us how easily war can erode moral standards.
In the first months of the war, Bomber Command was anxious to avoid the risk of killing civilians, bbritain constrained itself to leaflet dropping and attacks on naval targets. But after Dunkirk, the heavy bombers remained the only means by which Britain could fight the Nazis in continental Europe.
Top A change of policy This was the time when Churchill began to think about the need for an 'absolutely devastating exterminating attack by very heavy bombers from this country upon the Nazi homeland. Hitler responded by going ahead with the Blitz, and the following months and years saw tit-for-tat raids on alie country's cities.
At the same time, Britain's air force began to realise that its bombers were not able to find and hit specific war targets such as airfields or armament factories. An investigation revealed that just one in five aircraft was succeeding in dropping its bombs within five miles of its target. Under such circumstances, the bombing offensive could only be effective if it was directed at targets as big as cities.
Consequently, in FebruaryBomber Command was instructed to shift the focus onto the 'morale of the enemy civil population'. This new policy came to be called 'area bombing'. The aiming points thereafter, for bombing raids, were no longer military or industrial installations, but a church or other ificant spot in the centre of industrial towns.
And since prostitution in north pittsburg was found to be the most effective means of destroying a town, the bombers now carried mainly incendiary bombs.
Thus, the exigencies of war had rendered the traditional distinction between combatants and non-combatants meaningless. Nearly everybody living in an 'industrial town' was considered to contribute directly or indirectly to the German war effort, and nes therefore become a supposedly legitimate target.
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Harris grassflat pa housewives personals that air power could be decisive in winning modern wars, and could help to prevent the slaughter of ground forces that he had witnessed in the trenches of World War One. Harris launched 'thousand bomber raids' on big cities such as Cologne or Hamburg, whose scale of destruction made Harris confident that a concentrated campaign against Hitler's capital, Berlin, could render 'Operation Overlord', the planned invasion of German-occupied Europe, unnecessary.
In Decemberhe declared that his bomber force could bring about the collapse of Germany by April Yet Harris's high hopes proved unfounded. By the end of March, German morale was nowhere near breaking escorf, and Hitler's war machine was far from crippled.
German armament production continued to rise until mid They had come committed to 'precision' bombing in daylight. However, their bombers proved easy prey for the German day fighters.
Heavy losses convinced the Americans that they needed long-range escort fighters to protect their bombers. These fighters lured the Luftwaffe into dogfights, and by the spring of they were gaining air superiority.
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It was not, as Harris had expected, the destruction of German cities that proved decisive for the Allies in - it was the superiority of the RAF over the Luftwaffe in the air. Brtain enabled the bomber forces to neutralise strategic and tactical targets in France, which was crucial for the success of the D-Day landings and the alllie advance of Allied ground forces. Over France, the British demonstrated they could bomb with surprising accuracy.
By now, the al and bomb aiming technology had improved greatly. The Royal Canadian Navy made a ificant contribution to Allied victory in the Battle of the Atlantic, providing escorts for convoys crossing between Canada and Britain. Over two and a half million Indian men volunteered for service, producing the largest volunteer army in history.
There were around 40, Indian servicemen in the British Merchant Navy. In the West Indies, thousands of men ed the local home guard and the British Army. They were eventually sent to Europe for training, but few were allowed to fight on the front line. Over 40, workers volunteered to live and work as agricultural labourers in alliie USA.
In addition, many from countries occupied by the Nazis came to Britain to serve in the British forces.
Belgian and Dutch units were created in the RAF, and their national brigades fought in the liberation of Europe. Norwegian soldiers, sailors and jew served in their own units under British operational control.
Their fighter pilots played an outstanding role in the Battle of Britain and also provided bomber crews. By the end of the war there were 15 operational Polish squadrons.